It was forecast a very warm day today and as we had a 45 mile return journey to Jacob Lake with a lot of uphill to do, an early start is best.
Once we had said farewell to Bill, a 69 year old walking the Arizona Trail looking to complete it on his 70th birthday just before christmas (the trail is 800 miles long stretching from the northern border of Arizona down to the Mexican border (Kaibab Plateau to the Coronado National Memorial). He was doing the short cut of 23 miles down the Grand Canyon, whilst we were doing the 225 mile road journey to the same campground. We were getting ready to go when eagle eyed (and gripping hands) Janet (every ready to avoid cycling at all costs) spotted a pickup looking as though it was ready to leave.
A short conversation later and we had secured a lift to Jacob Lake with Terry, Michael and Charlie who generously agreed to take us. They were going to drive over to the south rim as they were part of a scout group traversing from the north to south in one day.
So a more leisurely breakfast and coffee later, our cycles in the back of a pickup and we watched the scenery go by. The very heavy rain shower we had yesterday fell as thick snow at the highest part of the road and it was very much in evidence all over the ground and roadside.
Again many thanks for the tremendous kindness shown to us by complete strangers.
Once at Jacob Lake we phoned ahead to book a motel in Marble Canyon (there is very limited accommodation in this area), and started on our way. We had a 42 mile cycle most of which was downhill! As we dropped in height the scenery changed from woodland to very dry almost desert like conditions, not a tree to be seen.
The road descended quite steeply down to the Vermillion Cliffs a fantastic set of cliffs made of a red stone (bet you are surprised at that). The road at the foot of the cliffs is the longest straight road we have been on 20 miles with only one slight bend in it!
Passing through a place called Cliff Dwellers we stopped at a gas station for a cold soda (stopped at a petrol station for a cold drink). This town used to be made up of a lot of boulders with a brick extensions on them forming rudimentary houses.
The final 10 miles into Marble Canyon went quickly, where we settled down to watch the second Presidential debate, it was very poor indeed all that happened was they insulted and called each other liars. There was no substance or policy really discussed, how you make up your mind based on this rubbish I do not know.
We finished the night mildly concerned about an impending 70 mile day or a roadside camp to split it into two. We shall see.